Thursday, February 18, 2016

Going Primitive

A few months ago I made my first Prairie Doll. She was made simple, faceless, and with not much “aging.” I have since then studied Primitive techniques and dolls, from Prims Magazines to facebook groups such as Purely Primitive Dolls, from Barb Moore’s book. So I “grundged” my first Prairie doll.
I used a pattern I found from Happy Heart Patterns, which is SO much easier to follow and has better directions than the pattern from my first Prairie Doll. I stained the muslin using Rit dye before I cut out the pattern. I threw it in the dryer, then ironed out the wrinkles and went to work tracing the pattern onto the muslin. She turned out just lovely . . .


For the grundging, I used a cup of hot water, mixed with a few tablespoons of instant coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. I painted the mixture on the clothes and the doll. I put her in the oven on warm to dry her, and made the mistake of turning her over face-down, so she scorged her face. Luckily, I used bleach water to get it out. I then sanded her feet, hands, and gently on her clothes and face. I poked holes in her apron, dress, and hand, then sewed them up with contrasting thread.
I have to say, making this beautiful doll look old was a challenge for me. It was going against my grain. I didn’t finish any seams, either. Oh, for shame! Making things look primitive is completely opposite of what a professional seamstress does, which is what I aimed for before. I kept telling myself, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, making it imperfect is what makes it primitive!”
How does she look? Does she look well-loved?